Marsha Blackburn: Gov’t Agencies ‘Weaponized’ for Political Purposes

Wednesday on Fox Business Network, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) discussed the public’s perception of the American system of justice and how politics has interfered with the business of government agencies.

She offered her thoughts on Attorney General William Barr’s job performance, adding that she was aware of how people were frustrated government agencies being politicized, or as she said “weaponized.”

Partial transcript as follows:

BARTIROMO: So, let’s first talk about Bill Barr. How is he doing and what are your thoughts going into what has been, really, a whirlwind of speculation about Bill Barr ever since he made those comments —

BLACKBURN: Right.

BARTIROMO: — to ABC?

BLACKBURN: I — my hope is that Bill Barr is going to stay. He is doing a wonderful job. He has the trust of so many of us in Washington. We know that he has brought an incredible amount of experience to this job.

He is cleaning up the DOJ. He is making certain that the FBI refocuses their efforts. And I am certainly one of those that wants to see him stay.

BARTIROMO: Yes, but is he cleaning up the DOJ, Senator? I mean, you know, look what’s going on in terms of all of these people who we know lied to Congress and leaked —

BLACKBURN: That’s right.

BARTIROMO: — information to the media, and tried to frame Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

BLACKBURN: Right.

BARTIROMO: They’re getting off, right?

Just the other day we hear that Andrew McCabe will not be charged. Jim Comey’s still out and about trashing the president.

BLACKBURN: Right.

BARTIROMO: Same with John Brennan.

Where is the accountability here?

BLACKBURN: Well, we know that he has a very full plate, if you will. And you’re expressing some of the frustration I hear every single day from Tennessee. And so Maria, I think this is the president’s frustration.

The American people look at what is happening in Washington and they feel like there is a two-tiered justice system, and they want to see people pay for the things that they have done wrong and for the violations of law.

And people, every day, will bring up things to me about Jim Comey or Andrew McCabe or Loretta Lynch —

BARTIROMO: Yes.

BLACKBURN: — or, you know — and they’re saying, how can people get by with this? We can’t get by with things like this. And they resent what the federal government is doing to them through these federal agencies and Donald Trump understands that.

BARTIROMO: Yes.

BLACKBURN: The president has done a great job of trying to get government off your back and out of your pocketbook.

Now, Attorney General Barr has to feel like he is playing Whac-A-Mole every single day that he goes into his job because there is so much to clean up.

When you look at the fact —

BARTIROMO: Yes.

BLACKBURN: — that the FISA abuse took place and we still don’t see that reconciled —

BARTIROMO: Well, that’s what I’m saying.

BLACKBURN: — and we still do not have the Durham —

BARTIROMO: Yes, I mean —

BLACKBURN: — report. And there’s a lot to deal with, both on the personnel and the procedural end.

And I think, let’s have him stay. I want him to stay —

BARTIROMO: Yes. Well, I mean, look —

BLACKBURN: — and I think the president wants him to stay.

BARTIROMO: — there’s no question. The Department of Justice came out yesterday and said this is absolutely not true. But, you know, the president —

BLACKBURN: Right.

BARTIROMO: — also went on a bit of a tweet storm yesterday, threatening lawsuits —

BLACKBURN: Yes.

BARTIROMO: — over the two-year-long Mueller probe FISA abuse. The president said, “If I wasn’t president, I’d be suing everyone all over the place, but maybe I still will,” he said, Senator. Because he knows and we know, as our audience knows, that there was a cabal of individuals who used the tools that we use against terrorists, against then-candidate Donald Trump —

BLACKBURN: That’s right.

BARTIROMO: — from informants to leaks to wiretapping to lies.

BLACKBURN: You’re exactly right and this is why at the Judiciary Committee we’re going to continue to look at this. It’s why we’re going to hold hearings on the Durham report.

BARTIROMO: When? When are you going to hold the hearings, Senator, because that’s the — that’s the follow-up question that I get from all the viewers?

BLACKBURN: We’ve got to get the report first.

BARTIROMO: When are you going to hold the hearings?

BLACKBURN: After we get the report. And hopefully, we’ll get that report early this spring.

The point is —

BARTIROMO: The John Durham report?

BLACKBURN: Correct — that’s correct.

And people want to make certain that those who have been working outside of the law are held to account.

BARTIROMO: OK.

BLACKBURN: The McCabe decision is disappointing. I’ll agree with you on that.

And — but look at it. You’ve got DOJ with their violations. You’ve got the IRS that has overstepped its bounds. You’ve got the EPA that has shut down different industries for —

BARTIROMO: Yes, all these agencies have been politicized —

BLACKBURN: Yes.

BARTIROMO: — Senator. All these agencies have been politicized.

BLACKBURN: You’re right.

BARTIROMO: Real quick, before you go — knowing —

BLACKBURN: They’ve been weaponized.

BARTIROMO: — knowing — and weaponized.

BLACKBURN: Many of them have been weaponized.

BARTIROMO: Yes, good word.

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